House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested on Saturday that the House may introduce a bill to limit presidential pardon power following President Donald Trumps decision to commute the sentence of his longtime associate and former adviser Roger Stone.
Pelosi, along with many of her Democrat colleagues, excoriated the president for providing clemency for Stone, who was scheduled to report to prison next Tuesday. The top Democrat leader called the decision “an act of staggering corruption,” while vowing Congress would take steps to prevent similar actions in the future.
“Legislation is needed to ensure that no President can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that President from criminal prosecution,” Pelosi said in her statement.
Stone, 67, was sentenced on Feb. 20 to three years and four months in prison. He was convicted in November 2019 on all seven counts he was charged with in relation to an investigation into Russias interference in the 2016 election, including obstruction, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress.
The political consultant and lobbyist had recently escalated his bid to delay the start of his prison sentence by filing an emergency request asking the appeals court to push back the date of his self-surrender. He argued that his age and undisclosed medical issues would leave him vulnerable in the prison system amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
The appeals court rejected Stones request saying that Stone is “not legally eligible for further postponement of his reporting date” under the law he was requesting his delay.
“Because Stone has failed to show, as a matter of law, that he is eligible for release under Section 3145(c), the motion must be denied,” the judges wrote (pdf).
The ruling was quickly mooted as Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency commuting Stones sentence later in the day. The White House said in a statement that Stone was “a victim of the Russia Hoax” that had been perpetuated for years by “the Left and its allies in the media” in efforts to undermine the Trump Presidency.
“The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist,” the statement said.
When the prosecutors from the Special Counsels office was aware that the investigations would not bear fruit, the prosecutors then turned to investigate wrongdoing against associates of Trump, the White House claims.
“These charges were the product of recklessness borne of frustration and malice. This is why the out-of-control Mueller prosecutors, desperate for splashy headlines to compensate for a failed investigation, set their sights on Mr. Stone,” the statement said.
Then-special counsel Robert Mueller spent about two years investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections. His report concluded that while Russia did attempt to interfere in the election, there was no evidence to establish that any members of the Trump campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia ahead of the election.
Trump defended his decision to grant clemency to Stone in a statement on Saturday, saying that the 67-year-old was targeted in “an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place.”
“It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign—AND GOT CAUGHT!” the president wrote.
The presidents power of executive clemency is granted by the U.S. Constitution and allows him to pardon sentences for federal criminal convictions or grant clemency in the form of commutation, amnesty, remission, and reprieve, except in cases of impeachment. A presidential pardon sets aside the punishment for a federal convRead More From Source